Tuesday 6 December 2022

November 2022

 November has been a month of 2 halves. We had some lovely warm clear days to start with, but now the rain has arrived and there is snow on the mountains. The ground certainly needed the water, but it has all come at once! We finally need to light the boiler but are trying to use it as little as possible as the price of granules has doubled! Energy prices are increasing everywhere!

We spent a very enjoyable overnight stay with Richard and Yvett in Fenouillet and also had a trip out to a couple of local villages on my birthday. It was good to meet up with old friends Lisa and Neil while they were back over here on holiday as well as lunches and dinners with friends here - a very sociable month in all!

Our album for November

Wednesday 2 November 2022

October 2022

We don't have many photos this month as it has been fairly quiet and we also spent a very nice couple of weeks in England with the family. 
Its still very warm and dry so we haven't needed to light the boiler yet, which is just as well as wood granules have been in short supply so far. We drove back to England this time and happily just about times it either side of the fuel workers strike here, but we hear it was chaotic while it lasted
The above couple of photos are of the latest brolly decorations in Pamiers town centre, and another view from my favourite bike ride

Monday 3 October 2022

September 2022


The days are drawing in now and mornings and evenings getting much cooler. The farmers have been busy preparing the fields for winter planting but the ground is still so dry that it has created clouds of dust!
The past few days have brought some rain though, so everything is starting to turn green again.

I spent a week back in Engand - mostly to look after Siena while Dan and Jess went to a wedding, and to give Jess a hand while Dan was on a residential assessment course to become a police dog-handler The visit co-incided with the Queen's death and funeral which meant that Dan also to work very long hours. As a result I didn't see much of him, but was able to give Jess a hand with the children.
Dan got the job as a dog-handler as well, which was great news. He will start that next year.

 It was good to see Lucy and Dad as well of course....but didnt see much of Andy as he got Covid!

Dave kept busy here with the garden and enjoyed the last few hot days of summer!

Lesley's photos
Dave's photos

Thursday 1 September 2022

August 2022

 August has continued to be hot and sunny with very little rain, until Monday when a storm arrived with a vengeance!  We have had guests here in the suite for most of the month and we have spent most of the time trying to stay cool. We love the sun and the summer here, but day after day of temperatures over 30 degrees and nearing 40degrees can be very difficult
Here are a few photos of the month

Lesley's album
Dave's album

Tuesday 2 August 2022

July 2022

 July has been hot hot hot!! Warm and sunny most of the time with a few episodes of extreme heat. This is probably the hottest summer we have experiences since living here. We really appreciate the pool of course, and the old old with thick walls and shutters does help to keep the heat out. Mornings and evenings are beautiful though.

Everything is dry here and its an effort to keep the veggie patch going, but the tomatoes are doing well. The freezer is slowly filling up with sauces and ratatouille.

Dave's knee hasn't been too good. We saw the surgeon today to get it checked - it looks like tendonitis so may take a while to get back to where he was. 

We have just managed another brief trip back to England to see the family - now August is busy with guests renting the suite.

Here are a few local photos from July

Sunday 3 July 2022

June 2022

June has been a month for family and music! Lucy, Andy and Nala continued to enjoy some good weather while they were with us, then we followed them back to England for a week to welcome Daniel and Jess's little boy, Rafael, into the world - A gorgeous little brother for Siena!

We also enjoyed a trip to London with Lucy and Andy and friends June and Jim to see Queen and Adam Lambert in concert at the 02. This was a fantastic concert - a real spectacle of light and sound and quite an emotional occasion as well - they played all the old favourites and we feel sure Freddie would have approved!

Before going back to England we had a concert of our own here....in which we were playing! The local community of St Victor Rouzaud held a day of volunteer work, finished off with a meal provided in the village hall. We were asked to perform with our friends - our first concert! It was great fun and we enjoyed a very appreciative audience!

Here are our photos for June
Dave's Album
Lesley's album

Friday 3 June 2022

May 2022

 We have been enjoying some family visits recently. I went back to England for a few days before returning here with Dad who stayed with us for a week. Now Lucy, Andy and Nala are with us for a couple of weeks. They have all been very fortunate with the weather - lots of warm sunny days

Here are some photos of the month of May

Sunday 8 May 2022

April 2022

 The wisteria has been superb this year - the best yet. Its been a busy month as usual but we don't have many photos! Will make up for it in May. I have just been back to England for a few days and Dad has flown back here with me for a weeks holiday. We brought the sunny UK weather back here with us so have been able to make the most of the garden. The pool is a bit chilly still at 20 degrees, but should warm up soon in this sunshine.

Here are a few photos of the month

Wednesday 6 April 2022

March 2022

 We have just returned from a very lovely family holiday in Cornwall. This was postponed from 2 years ago because of Covid, so we were very glad to be able to all meet up and enjoy a wonderful week together. We rented a house in Portreath overlooking the sea, which was perfect for our 4 generations!

Back in the Ariege, the weather had turned very cold over the weekend. We awoke on Sunday morning to this snow shower (above).

Before setting off on our holiday the weather was warm but very windy - very good for drying the washing - see above!

Here are our albums for March - mostly Cornwall this month!

Dave's album
Lesley's album

Tuesday 8 March 2022

February 2022

The blog is a little late this month as I have just been back to England to spend a few days with the family. Dave stayed here to tend to the garden and prepare the vegetable plot. With the warm weather, everything needs doing all of a sudden, and of course the grass is growing again!

Dave has also finished constructing the new wooden deck outside the guest suite. It is bigger than the old terrace and a sunny spot for morning coffee

We have had an active month, making the most of some great weather.
We chose a sunny day to re-visit the disused marble mine at Uchentein, the other side of St Girons. A beautiful spot with fantastic views for a picnic, and not too long a walk for Dave's knee.

We also enjoyed a weekend staying with Richard and Yvett at their now house in the Aude. The weather was good again so we did an afternoon walk around the village of Bugarach. According to rumour, the unusual mountain there was to be the only safe place to be when the world was to end on 21st December 2012 and the village is now a popular destination for New Age travelers.
We also enjoyed a day in the sun on the Mediterranean coast near Leucate.

Another walk this month was along the mountainside above Luzenac in the Ax valley. We walked to the Chateau de Lordat which provided another great picnic spot.

I also enjoyed a day skiing with English friends in the little ski centre of Ascou-Pailheres which was great fun. 

Here are our albums for the month 
Dave's album

Lesley's album

Wednesday 2 February 2022

January 2022


As can be seen from the above photos, we have had a lot of sunny but cold and frosty days here this month. Its a little cold for cycling but we have enjoyed a few short walks in the mountains to try out Dave's knee. The knee is coping reasonably well with walking but still gets very stiff and the flexion is still not good enough for it to be comfortable with every day activities. However we have been tidying the garden and Dave is slowly preparing the base for a new and larger wooden deck outside the guest suite. The wood should arrive today so we hope to have some photos next month

Here are our photos for this month
Dave's album
Lesley's album

Wednesday 5 January 2022

December 2021

 We are back at home in France now after spending 3 weeks in England over Christmas that didn't exactly go as planned! Both Lucy and Jess went down with Covid 19 (almost certainly Omicron) the day after we arrived on 12th December. Before long Dave, Daniel and I all had it as well. I got away with it fairly lightly with a sore throat and headache but the others felt pretty rough for a week of more with very heavy cold symptoms. As a result we all self-isolated between their 2 houses and waited to see whether we would test negative in time for Christmas, and also whether Andy would succumb.
In the end Andy luckily escaped it and the rest of us were negative testing after the obligatory 7 days. 
We were pleased to be able to spend Christmas together and Dad was able to join us on Boxing Day for a couple of days. We extended our stay into the New Year so that we could do some of the things that we had planned to do in the week before Christmas, and also to be sure that the lab tests that were required before returning to France were negative. Luckily they were and we returned home on Sunday, on a very empty Eurotunnel train taking just 10 cars!

We now have to strictly quarantine at home until we can show (another !) negative test 2 days after arriving. We have had 3 visits by the gendarmes to ensure that we are complying and are now waiting for them to confirm that we can go out....as usual the French legal jingo is so contradictory and confusing that not even the gendarmes know what we are supposed to be doing!!

So we are relieved to have survived this bout of Covid, even if it wasn't very pleasant and has scuppered lots of plans. We were glad to have had some protection from the vaccines even if it is somewhat reduced against Omicron. We certainly wouldn't have wanted to get a worse dose of the virus, thats for sure!

After a warm spell of weather while we were in England it has turned very cold here, but we are looking forward to getting out and about and finding some fresh snow to walk in.
Here are just a few photos from December - more next month.

We wish everyone a Happy New Year  - hoping for good things in 2022!

A few photos from December